China moves fast to world’s first club in technology innovation


By Huang Fahong from People’s Daily

BEIJING: China is accelerating its pace to stride towards the first echelon around the world in scientific and technological innovation and its innovation in a few sectors is even leading the world, Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang told a press conference held by the Information Office of the State Council recently.

It is noticeable that the number of scientific papers published by Chinese scientists in international journals ranked second in the world in 2017, Wan pointed out.

And for the first time ever, China passed Germany and the UK, coming to the second place globally in the number of citations, he said, adding that the number of patent applications and authorizations processed is also in the front row in the world.

The country has grown into a world leading power in scientific and technological innovation and its global influence in basic research also improved significantly, Wan said.

The minister illustrated that a series of major innovations were achieved in the past few years, including the manned submersible Jiaolong, the world’s largest filled-aperture radio telescope FAST, and the dark matter detection satellite “Wukong”.

He disclosed that measures will be taken to enhance the country’s original innovation capacity for the next step.

China, in its report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, proposed the goal of “making China a country of innovators” and made clear that “innovation is the primary force driving development; it is the strategic underpinning for building a modernized economy.”

In 2017, China’s spending on research and development was estimated to reach 1.76 trillion yuan ($278.0 billion), up 70.9 percent from 2012. The contribution rate of the scientific and technological progress to the country’s economic growth rose to 57.5 percent from 52.2 percent in 2012.

China has also climbed to the 17th on the world’s innovation index ranking from its 2012 ranking of the 20th.

The size of China’s digital economy reached 22.6 trillion yuan in 2016, with retail sales online and production of electronic information products both topping the world.

China is profoundly affecting and reshaping the global industrial pattern by combining technological innovation, innovation of business model and the country’s huge market, said the minister, adding that China’s way of innovation has become a focus of world attention.

However, the country is still weak in original innovation, the minister pointed out.

In the future, China will focus on long-term development of innovation, strengthen the top-level design, build up talent teams and improve prospective deployment of basic science research, Wan noted.


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